Thursday, August 16 , 2018, 2:04 pm | Fair 77º


Wildlife Care Network Receives $100,000 for Endowment Fund

Benefactor Walter Thomson bequeaths $100,000 in seed money

Walter Thomson, a local philanthropist who died earlier this year, has left a $100,000 challenge grant as seed money to create an endowment fund for the Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network.

Since its incorporation in Santa Barbara in 1988, the network has rescued more than 30,000 songbirds, seabirds, raptors and small mammals.

Thomson has been a generous benefactor of the network for many years. In 2003, his $100,000 matching grant was the first step in the group’s campaign to purchase land and build a permanent wildlife rehabilitation center. This new legacy gift addresses the need for operating funds to sustain the network’s ever-expanding rescue and rehabilitation work.

“Walter has been our hero for many years,” said network President Diane Cannon, one of the group’s founders. “He loved wildlife and appreciated how our lives are enriched by seeing and interacting with these beautiful animals. He believed deeply in our work, and hoped his donation would encourage other individuals, foundations and corporate donors to help match his gift. Once again, his generosity will make a huge difference to us.”

Cannon said the network receives no public funding. All operations are supported by donations. The group’s operations also depend heavily on the work of volunteers around the county who assist with rescue, animal transport and hands-on animal care, and through service on various committees.

Click here to learn more about the Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network or about donating and volunteering time to help with direct animal care or on a committee.

— Joanne St. John represents the Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network.

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